We’re you surprised by any of this year’s nominations? Check out Sean Fennessey’s discussion of surprises and snubs for this year’s lists. He explains how “Phantom Thread’s six nominations, including shockers for Best Picture and Best Director, was the loudest possible indicator of a shift in how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes.”
Martin Scorsese is profiled in a recent feature in Fast Company. The in-depth article offers some insight into the way he makes movies and his respect for past filmmakers.
His latest film “Hugo” is not quite what you would expect from this great director. But it’s beautifully shot as you can see from the trailer above. Scorsese and the film were nominated for Hollywood’s Critics’ Choice Awards and the film received a Golden Globe nomination for best drama. We’ll see if he gets acknowledged this year at The Oscars.
The end of the year is upon us, and at this time everyone in Hollywood starts gearing up for the award shows. Who will be nominated and who will win? Everything culminates with the Oscars, but there are tons of other important awards as well. We just heard from the Golden Globes who announced their nominations. So far “The Artist” has been the huge hit that is generating the most buzz.
As these initial award shows release their nominations, we start to get a better idea of who might be nominated and then ultimately win the Academy Awards. But, of course there are always surprises. Predicting this stuff can be tricky.
Because of that, fans have a field day with office pools and other ways to guess who will be nominated and who will win. There are tons of websites now devoted simply to information and gossip of which film, which starlet and which director might get the final nod.
Stuff the the award shows fuel entertainment betting which has become more and more popular. Everything in entertainment is fair game, from box office winners, Blu-ray sales to which song Madonna will lead with at the Super Bowl.
In a funny way, the most surprising thing about this year’s batch of Academy Award nominations was how strongly they stayed true to Oscar’s long-held habits — even a Film Drunk could see it this year. At least in terms of sheer numbers of nominations, the Academy was most generous to a historical/inspirational costume drama from England over a somewhat edgier and less traditionally fashioned tale ripped from today’s business headlines.
“The King’s Speech” led the nominations with 12, followed by “True Grit” with 10, and just eight for “The Social Network” — still very much the front-runner in my opinion — and “Inception.” Though Anne Thompson sees the momentum shifting in a more royal direction, I think it’s a big mistake this time around to read too much into sheer quantity. For example, I would be surprised to see a huge number of non-“technical” awards for “True Grit” or “Inception.” (Roger Deakins’ “True Grit” cinematography and the amazing effects of Christopher Nolan’s team being very likely winners).
Considering where most of the awards have gone so far, the only thing really going for “The King’s Speech” and against the previously prohibitive favorite, “The Social Network,” is aforementioned traditional Oscar genre prejudices and the inevitable backlash most highly acclaimed and award winnings films get. However, outside of infantile attention-hog critic Armond White, I actually haven’t noticed a huge anti-“Network” backlash though there were some off-target feminist complaints. (A movie about an almost literal boys’ club is going to depict a boys’ club atmosphere.) In any case, the rather enormous and still ongoing on- and off-line backlashes against “American Beauty,” “Crash” and “Titanic” clearly didn’t hurt those films’ Oscar prospects one bit.
You’d think Jewish New Year and Labor Day coming so close together would slow down the pace of movie news a little, but leisure is for suckers and Yahweh is just another bit player in this hard luck town.
* The talk of the geek-o-sphere for some time is going to be the announcement of a massive and potentially trendsetting film/television cross-over adaptation of Stephen King’s multi-volume “The Dark Tower” mega-epic. Universal, which has had some very tough times lately, is taking what I’m guessing could be a make-it-or-break-it gamble on the project, the news of which was broken by Mike Fleming earlier. I’m not a King reader, but I am intrigued by the fact that it’s a western-science fiction-horror cross-breed. In any case apparently the plan is to start with a movie, go to a 22 episode not-so-mini-series, and then onto another movie, another series, then wrapping it all up with movie. The idea being to provide fans with both the grandeur of theatrical films and the detail and time of a television series.
It’s intriguing but laden with potential pitfalls. One is that it demands an awful lot of time and people who aren’t following the series may feel shut out of the latter two movies. The other is that, quite frankly, I feel the “A Dangerous Mind” creative team of director Ron Howard and writer Akiva Goldsman — who I gather will be writing and directing the first two films and the entire first series at least, which could be some kind of record if that’s what’s really going to happen — simply haven’t indicated they’re up to this kind of material. I hate to say it but winning Oscars can be negative indicator sometimes.
It’s not that I doubt their ability to crank it all out. Howard is obviously a very competent director who knows how to make highly professional material and I have tremendous respect for him as an individual and one of the more positive forces in Big Moviedom. However, he’s always shown a tendency to play it safe and often a bit dull when the chips are really down creatively as a director and none of Goldsman’s movies have been all that inspiring to me either. All I’m saying is that I had a good feeling about Peter Jackson taking on “The Lord of the Rings” and I have a bad feeling about it, though I’d seriously love to be wrong. Something tells me this project needs a real lunatic and Ron Howard is one of the sanest guys in show business. Huge King fan Quint at AICN has similar misgivings. He has a more riding on this than I.